Friday, October 19, 2007

Middle East Investors Get Started On RM4 Bln IDR City Project

Middle East Investors Get Started On RM4 Bln IDR City Project

The four Middle East companies which announced their intention to invest US$1.2 billion (RM4.1 billion) in the Iskandar Development Region (IDR) recently have appointed an architect and master planner to kick off the project, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today.

He was told this by the head of Mubadala Development Company, one of the four, in a telephone conversation two days ago, the Deputy Prime Minister said at a breaking of fast at the residence of Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman here.

Last Aug 29, Mubadala and Millennium International Company, a subsidiary of Saraya Holdings, and Kuwait Finance House (KFH) signed an agreement with the coordinator of IDR's development, South Johor Investment Corporation (SJIC), to invest in the special economic region.

Another Gulf firm, Aldar Properties PJSC, will manage the project, which will be IDR's first integrated international city, identified as Node I. This encompasses more than 892ha in Nusajaya, including the state government's new administrative centre and the Second Link to Singapore.

Mubadala, KFH and Millennium Development head their own consortiums and are collectively investing the US$1.2 billion for land cost and infrastructure work to develop three clusters under lifestyle and leisure, cultural and financial.

This is the largest single investment so far since the IDR was launched by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi in November last year.

Najib, who is also Deputy Umno President and Defence Minister, welcomed the investment kick-off by the four companies, describing it as very good and positive.

He expressed confidence that IDR, which spans 2,217 sq km and is twice the size of Singapore, will draw even more investments from the Middle East.

He said the creation of the IDR offers a challenge to Umno, and Umno Johor, to ensure that its development is in line with the philosophy and spirit of Umno and the Malays.

Najib described Umno Johor as setting the direction for Umno in the other states and he wanted it continue to maintain this role.

More than 1,500 Umno members, including senior Umno Johor leaders, attended the function, at which there was also a group recital of the Quran.

Najib took part in Tarawih prayers before returning to Kuala Lumpur.

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